As if more proof was needed on the growing importance of IP in China, these stats serve as a timely reminder to our inventors just how it has become to file in China.

The number of applications for international patents fell by 4.5% in 2009 compared with the year before – these granted to over 150,000 companies.   In Western countries there has been a huge cut back on R&D spending during the recession.   At the same time Chinese patent applications rose by 30%.

Since 2005 applications for patents in China have grown over 200% as the country has developed a home-grown high-tech sector. Our China Buying Office is seeing Chinese partner factories spending more money on R&D and marketing right now.   Competition on price could only go so far and IP is now seen as a key driver by many factory managers.

Reflecting America’s economic power and corporate dynamism, the USA is still on top.  However, the number of American applications has fallen substantially from a peak of around 54,000 in 2007.